Design 7: Urban Design Reflections

Process: Doing the neighborhood analysis of our own neighborhood is good because we got the feel of how an urban neighborhood works and how a block is in the neighbor.  Also doing a study of other urban neighborhoods is good because we start to understand how other planners were successful. Doing these processes I for one took elements of each and tried to incorporate it to my teams master plan. Reading Jane Jacobs was really good, she was someone who wasn’t in architecture that had a strong influence on the city and how the social sustainability plays out.

Happy City was good but i feel like i got more from reading Jane Jacobs than the Happy City.

Team work i believe went well. I had a team of really hard workers. We definitely balance out. Where someone had a weakness, it was another’s strength.

The Client interaction was good because it brings the real world to the school world but i believe that the clients have to be more inform about the process and the project so the student can get a clear understanding of the program and what the client wants.

Master Plan vs Architectural

I believe connecting the master plan with the architectural was good. Because it allows us to understand how to design a building that interacts with the site. And how the site and the surrounding elements affects your building.

final reflection

the neighborhood analysis was a great assignment because it taught me neighborhoods relate to one another. Main streets divide neighborhoods and how parks have a big purpose on design.  it taught me scale on neighborhoods and how a design of a building relates not only to the block but to all the neighborhood.

the block analysis was great because it helped me understand the scale of one block and the houses within the block. it helped me understand the streets around my block and also how greenery is placed in a block. the sections really helps me understand the heights of the buildings and the relationships within the sidewalk and streets.

the reading seminars and happy city assignment helped me understand how a neighborhood can change the mood of a person. reading the ideas from  le corbusier and jane jacobs it helped me open my mind of how we should design for the experience of people and not just on the structure. also it helped understand how ambitious we should be when we design a neighborhood at a large scale or a small building in a block.

the client interaction was a real life experience but i feel like we need to be focused more on a specific program or even build our own program because at the end of the day it was a scramble and we didn’t focus on much on client but we focused on the master plan itself. i found that it was a greater and better task by designing what is around the site and the streets and buildings.

the project itself was great and group work was amazing. it was an amazing experience to work with the professors and my teammates and the class itself.


Urban Design 7 Reflection


The process that we have been through for the whole entire semester was really great. I have never studied my neighborhood before and it felt really amazing. Since i live outside New York City, it felt weird in the beginning but it actually made me feel really good that my neighborhood is different than everybody else which it made it challenging for me. I believe the process should stay the same because in order to get a better urban design concept for next semester, you should study your own neighborhood in order to understand the idea of urban design. Also, the readings were great in order to understand urban design from different perspectives of architects around the world, and the understanding of different cities and the way they have developed the grid, it was really nice.

Happy City

Interacting a faculty outside the architecture department is a great move because we can understand how people actually think about our designs. Happy city was an amazing way of involving green and more happy interactions between people where we should pay attention to when we are developing an urban design site.

Client Interactions

The client idea was a nice move where we had to deal with people outside the school and it felt great. However, my client for the small business development center was really great but i couldn’t understand exactly what they want. because they kind of layout the program but they weren’t focusing a lot about the surroundings of the building. It seemed like they weren’t really interested from the beginning, but if we can meet a client who is more involved and more interested that would be a greater step to achieve a better design.


I believe that was a great idea because i had a really great team where we had to finish everything on time and we helped each other out and learned from each other. Also, the project is pretty big so i believe one person isn’t going to be able to finish the whole assignment by him/herself.

Master plan vs architecture focus

From my perspective i believe this semester was really successful in terms of the timing because on other designs in this curriculum, we designed many buildings and focused a lot on the architecture work. However, in this class we dealt with the master plan we learned a lot of ideas and the involvement of people, streets, parks, views, etc. both professors have helped me a lot and learned a lot from them. I believe it should be the same in terms of this semester.


In my personal opinion i thought the the process for the overall curriculum was well organized. Starting from the neighborhood analysis, followed by the block typology analysis and the the urban city analysis were all perfect exercises to give everyone a starting idea on what urban design is.

Happy City

I thought the lecture on happiness was interesting and it brought the class together as a whole. It gave everyone the chance to express their own views and ideas on happiness and it promoted discussions within everyone in the class.

Client Interaction

I felt that the meeting clients was a a new experience that would be good for every one to try out. Learning to communicate with other people is a skill that everyone could use for their future lives.

Master plan vs. Architecture

I thought that the time distributed for each assignment was okay. I think it’s really hard to balance the time to a reasonable scale since both assignments require a fair amount of time. I believe that the time for each project is appropriate and that it all comes down to the students and their dedication.


Teamwork is very important. It helps you realize how one communicates with others and it puts everyone to the test when disputes arise. It challenges everyone to find common ground and to take the ideas of others into consideration in order to progress as a team and not an individual.

Design 7: Urban Design Reflections

I had a great time being apart of this class. This design was much different. I have been so used to the design of small spaces. Dealing with a large massing and site required much education and time. It challenged me to design outside the box. Designing the programs and the outside field was new and i feel should be introduced in other designs. I feel students are not prepared enough for large sites.

The process we took into urban design was good. It was necessary and I’m sure it will help future students.

The readings helped. I feel reading about how others deal with designing site plans helps me with my process. I used several books to gain ideas for this urban design.

Teamwork was different. This was a first, but it worked out. It gives us a hint of the real world because teamwork is in every office.

I feel we worked with the master plan and our site more then the given program. We didn’t focus enough about the client. It was a fantastic project but with enough time…the clients work would be finished with plans and all. Overall I enjoyed dealing with a large site. I have been in the Architectural field for quite sometime and must say, Its hard work and extremely different…but enjoyable. One last thing this school overall has to focus on is structure/detail and the regulations of designing a building.

-Daniel Savoca

Final Thoughts


This is the first design course, or any creativity-based course within this major that we took the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with our course topic by means of researching and understanding the manifestos of noted Architects. By beginning with theories, arguments and points made by activists and architects alike, and moving along towards block typologies and case study analysis did I feel we developed a comprehensive understanding to our course outline.

Happy City:

This segment more or less felt like an afterthought, although it was enriching to have a representative from another department give their input on our studies. It would have been nice to immerse ourselves further into this concept, as well as readings and seminars pertaining to urban design.



Master Plan vs. Architectural focus:

It goes without saying that the Master Plan took precedence this semester, which I find crucial as we pursue our career as architects. The Building was an afterthought to say the least, scrambled together last minute which I feel took away from our graphic abilities. As we have developed experience at this stage (hopefully) in structurally sound building design, a more Urban development based design class would be better. Perhaps focus on site sections, street view renderings, and a more strict attention to the building requirements laid before us (waterway acreage, livable built space, park acreage)

Overall I’ve greatly enjoyed the social aspect of this course, it’s the first design course that sparked group conversation and input pertaining to design, and inspired new approaches in the way that I think. Thank you for a wonderful semester.

Site Plan Comments: Christian Plaza


Here are general comments that you all should consider for site plans: (some comments are based on Christian’s progress site plan, but I am using his progress to bring up these issues to all of you)

1. Lineweights:  Building Footprints should have heaviest line weights. All pavement, road, pathway, landscape line weights should be light.

2. Sharpen shadows to make them more apparent.

3. Trees should not have too much variation from the middle to the edge of the block. Edges are too light. Make them more consistent from middle color to edge color. Trees in the park are too transparent. Do not change transparency from one tree to another, keep them all the same.

4. Eliminate black heavy pavement lines on road.

5. Consider a pavement pattern rather than a texture at squares.

6. Trees on perimeter walks next to canal, waterfront are not clear. Use same or similar block as others, just smaller.

7. What is the grey ambiguous pavement around your building? Why not just extend beige color for pavement at canal walk right up to your building?

8. Where is the canal terrace we discussed? Not clear. Add umbrellas or something to clarify.

9. Steps to lower canal walk should be 10′ wide at least.

10. Too many color variations on pavement, walkways, highland…. Use one color for all pavement except at public squares. Make general pavement color lighter.

11. Water color should be a “happier” shade of blue and possibly have some texture on it.

 12. Avoid ambiguous conditions around your building itself. You should have MORE DETAIL for your building than the surround parts of the site plan. Your buildings should be fully integrated into the place, with landscape and pavement patterns running right up to the face of your building. Integration into place is the name of the game.


Plaza_site plan_comments

MoMA trip tomorrow

We will start class as normal tomorrow morning (March 26th) at 8:00am. Your team should have prepared a rough model of your urban design as well as plans and sections, and ideally a digital model as well. Please also remember the importance of developing a block typology diagram for the project to guide the dimensions and also to aid calculating your built area for the project.

At 10:30am, we will leave as a group to head to MoMA for the exhibition and talk. We will finish at MoMA by 12:30pm. Your City Tech ID card will gain you access to MoMA at no cost, so all you need is your Metrocard.

See you at 8:00am.

Prof. Montgomery